The parents of Desiree Gibbon traveled to the island of Jamaica this weekend to reclaim her body and search for clues in her murder. The 26-year-old model was found beaten with her throat slit on an isolated country road outside of Montego Bay last Saturday.
Visiting the site where her body was found, her father Gairy Gibbon ruminated on his daughter’s last moments. “To be left here on some dark road to die like this,” he told New York’s Daily News. “It must be somebody’s worst fear, especially if you are a woman.”
Gibbon grew up in Hollis, Queens and had worked as a child actor and competed as a beauty queen in between modeling gigs. She had a degree from West Virginia University and intended to study documentary filmmaking. She had travelled to Jamaica to work as a musical talent scout and a bartender to save up money for tuition, according to the Daily News.
Her mother, Andrea Cali-Gibbon, told CBS New York Thursday she thought Gibbon knew her killer. “My belief is that it was a cold, calculated, planned-out murder. It wasn’t a random act of violence. It was somebody she knew, and it’s somebody she trusted.” Police in Jamaica agree, and are seeking a person of interest named “Rasta” in connection with her death.
Gibbon had arrived in Jamaica in October and planned to stay through until November 30. She has family on the island, and was staying at a guesthouse, which was owned by her grandparents. According to police, she had hit several bars in Montego Bay on the night of November 25, prior to her murder. Her body was found fully clothed, though her cellphone and one of her sandals was missing.
Phil Rodriguez, Gibbon’s boyfriend, said she was having problems with some of the people she met on her trip. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she made what she thought was friends but they were actually plotting against her,” he told the Daily News.